AIZAWL, Jan 11 – The Mizoram Government has sought financial and technical assistance from the UN to fight the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in the State, official sources said today.
The sources revealed that Mizoram Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana, who is currently on a tour to the United States, called on UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS) Director Regan Hofmann and other officials, and apprised them of the current AIDS scenario in Mizoram and the State Government’s efforts to check the growing spread of the disease. During his meeting, Dr Lalthangliana urged the UNAIDS officials to provide financial and technical assistance, the sources said. The minister also appealed to them to conduct an in-depth study on the present situation in Mizoram.
The UNAIDS officials, on their part, assured the minister of all possible help and expressed their willingness to hold a joint meeting between officials of Mizoram and UNAIDS to study the present status of AIDS in the State, the sources added.
Mizoram has the dubious distinction of being the highest AIDS-prevalent State in the country. Officials of the Mizoram State AIDS Control Society said that more than 2,400 people have died due to AIDS and a total of 20,976 HIV-positive cases have been detected since the first case was diagnosed in the State in 1990. They also said that more than 67 per cent of the HIV-positive cases had been sexually transmitted, while about 28.12 per cent cases were transmitted through sharing of needles by intravenous drug users. They cautioned that the rate of HIV spread is extremely alarming.
The State Government, along with NGOs and churches, is making massive efforts to fight the menace by spreading awareness. Between October and November last year, the State Government organised sensitization programmes on AIDS in all government offices located here.
It has also decided to introduce a chapter on AIDS in the school curriculum from the new academic session (2020-2021). A meeting of the Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee, a conglomeration of major churches in the State, held in December last year, agreed to make collective efforts to fight the deadly disease.
WITH INPUTS FROM Newmai News